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Why Kids Shouldn’t Go for the Gold

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The Case Against Competition One of the biggest opponents to competition as a regular part of kids’ lives is Alfie Kohn, author of No Contest: The Case Against Competition. In fact, he proposes that the best amount of competition for kids would be none at all.Kohn argues that as a result of competition in kids’ lives, feelings of self worth become dependent on external sources of evaluation. Competition produces anxiety and stress, both damaging to kids’ overall wellbeing.Furthermore, he argues that competition does not produce the best performance in kids, contrary to popular belief. Kohn cites research done by David Johnson, a professor of social psychology at the University of Minnesota. Johnson reviewed all studies done on the subject of competition in the classroom from 1924 to 1980. Sixty-five studies found that children learn better when they work cooperatively instead of competitively, while only eight found the opposite to be true.

Or maybe compete against their best previous effort?

there is something to be said for team sports though. 

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